An important 500,000-year-old prehistoric site was discovered near a highway in central Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Sunday. “A rare and important site dating back half a million years has been discovered” during archaeological excavations led by the Israel Antiquities Authority,” said the latter in a statement.
In Israel, only a few other sites of this period have so far been identified. Archaeological excavations are funded by the Israeli Land Authority, which works near to the locality of Jaljuliya. Hundreds of thousands of flint artifacts were discovered in the excavations, with hundreds of them being of the “handstone” type characteristic of the period.
According to Ein Shemer, director of excavation on behalf of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, and Professor Ran Barkai, head of the Department of Archeology at Tel Aviv University, “flint was discovered in quantity during excavations, revealing important information on the lifestyle of the man of this Paleolithic period in our region. ”
The two added that “it seems that the environmental conditions that existed in Jaljuliya half a million years ago, created a privileged environment, where flint tools attributed to Homo Erectus were discovered. The ancient ancestors of all who live today were hunter-gatherers: they used to gather and to hunt their food and move from one place to another depending on the supply provided by the region, like Kaveh, which is now half a kilometer south of the site.”
At this point, the three basic needs of the ancient man were available in one place: drinking water, various types of food (vegetation and animals) and flint stones, from which they created tools . The volume of the site shows that the population in question had a geographical memory of the place.
The site’s flint tools show innovation and technological creativity according to Ma’ayan Shemer, director of excavations on behalf of Israel’s Antiquities Authority. “The objects we have discovered are extraordinary both for the quality of their preservation and for what it offers us as tools for understanding this ancient culture,” she added.
“Our past common to all is buried underground and we have a unique opportunity to travel through half a million years to get to know those who have lived here before us,” added Ran Barkai, who heads the archeology department. from Tel Aviv University.
As a reminder, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (AAI) and the Israeli Kotel Heritage Fund has also announced on January 1st that a 2,700-year-old seal had been discovered in Jerusalem. The piece found on the wailing wall esplanade is pewter and is approximately 1.5 cm in diameter. It shows two men on one side and an inscription in ancient Hebrew on the other indicating “minister of the city”.